Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Herbie Hancock Walking from Miles to Grammy

Miles Davis All-Stars “Walkin” with Jay Jay Johnson (Trombone), Lucky Thompson (Tenor), David Schildkraut (Alto) Horace Silver (Piano), Percy Heath (Bass) and Kenny “Klook” Clarke (Drums). Prestige Records. Cover design by Hannah.
Session 9 (April 29, 1954)
This all-star session is among the key recordings in the history of modern jazz and the saga of Miles Davis.
Paradoxically (and the history of jazz is full of such paradoxes), the prognosis for history being made was anything but good. As Jules Colomby recalled, the musicians were to meet at Birdland in the afternoon for the ride to Van Gelder’s New Jersey studio. Lucky Thompson, coming in from Philadelphia, was so late that J.J. Johnson had just about talked the others into leaving without him when the tenorist arrived. At the studio, when all was ready, Miles told Bob Weinstock that he hadn’t brought his horn. Weinstock blanched. Colomby happened to have an old, leaky trumpet in the trunk of his car and Miles was able to coax from it the great playing heard here. (He also kept the horn, with the donor’s blessings.)

"Walkin’” (based on a piece known as “Gravy” when Gene Ammons first recorded it in 1950) is the masterpiece, however. At a more relaxed tempo the soloists preach brilliant sermons; Thompson may never have played better. As for Miles, he sums up why 1954 was a banner year for him. Not so incidentally, “Walkin’” became a cornerstone of the hard bop movement.(more from LP Cover Lover)
The Miles Davis Quintet digs into this Richard Carpenter classic on November 7, 1967 at the Stadthalle, Karlsruhe, Germany. This clip features Tony Williams, Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter and Herbie Hancock who looked shocked as his name was called to come to the stage and pick up the Grammy award for Album of the Year(2007!)Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters, a tribute to the songs of Joni Mitche.During his acceptance speech, Hancock noted that this was the first time in 43 years that a jazz album had nabbed the Album of the Year honors, the last one being Stan Getz and João Gilberto’s

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